Having spent the previous day checking a couple of our local hot spots, we decided over breakfast to branch out and head somewhere slightly more exotic. We chose the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT) reserve at Slimbridge where some different wading birds had been seen throughout the previous week. The best of these were a pair of moulting Curlew Sandpipers which were still sporting a large part of their red summer plumage and a Wood Sandpiper that had shown closely in front of one of the hides. We made our way straight to the hide in question and were greeted by, nothing! Well almost nothing since there were a couple of Lapwing and a few Teal but there was certainly nothing more interesting. I checked the Slimbridge Sightings twitter feed which is updated once the wardens have been out and about and saw that a Wood Sandpiper was indeed still present but at the Rushy Pen hide and not where we were. We got to the Rushy hide and were surprised to find only one other birder present and before he had the chance to tell me what's about (a bug bear of mine, I like to look for myself first) my quick glance around had already netted me the Wood Sandpiper. Mind you it was almost as far away from the hide that it could have been without being in the next county but through the scope it looked great. I like Wood Sandpipers and this followed on from the one seen at Frampton Marsh (see Frampton Marsh, 23rd July) recently. I would like to see one really close up mind.
|"Gerrout of it!"|
|"OK, who wants it?!"|
|Rynchokinesis in action|
There were also Green Sandpipers, Common Snipe and Ruff present but generally they were feeding distantly alongside the Wood Sandpiper. At one point the Sandpiper cousins met up and it was nice to note the comparison and differences between the two species.
|Wood Sandpiper (left) with Green Sandpipers|
|juvenile Grey Wagtail|
|juvenile Pied Wagtail|
|juvenile Black-headed Gull|
|Photobombed Wood Sandpiper (bottom right)|
|juvenile Common Crane|
|"Oakie, Skye & Cotton", Bicester Wetlands, 3rd May 2015|
|Lesser Black-backed Gull doing it's best to drown out the din of small people (and failing)!|